Gardening Tales

The Invasive Brown Garden Snail in Mississippi

September 24, 2021

The Autumnal Equinox and First Day of Fall arrived on Wednesday September 22.

Fall swooped in fashionably cool, with exquisite breezes. I do believe the remaining flowers from the gardens and I heaved a big sigh. The fever of Summer had finally broken and I was going to be set free from fighting the invasive brown snail.

The decision was made and that was that. We were pulling out all of the plants and tilling the garden up.

This was very sad for me because a good bit of the garden was still humming along.

However these past couple of months I felt as though my garden was cursed and truthfully I became very disenchanted and disheartened. My flower patch was overrun with brown snails. 


In all my years of growing flower and vegetable gardens in various climates and soil compositions I have never had to deal with the brown garden snail.

Slugs have always been an issue in my gardens in Texas, Mississippi and Florida but the brown garden snail totally caught me off guard and actually disgusted me too!

The brown garden snail is one relentless creature. It uses it's mucus to travel up the stalks of flowers. The snail then imbeds itself among the flower petals and devours them.

 There are literally thousands of snails in my garden.


What Is The Brown Garden Snail (Cornu aspersum)

  • Originated in Rome.
  • Introduced to California in 1850's .
  • Adult Snail shell is 1 inch wide. 
  • Snails grow remarkably fast-but only a few make it to adulthood.
  • Snails lay up to 80 eggs in a nest.
  • Hatching occurs in 2 weeks.
  • Four or five whorls in a distinctive gray and brown pattern.
  • Travels on a pool of mucus.
  • Troublesome pest of weeds, crops, flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Prefers undisturbed habitats.
  • Adequate moisture.
  • Eventually kills the plant.
  • Spread disease


My small compact flower farm must have been a breeding ground for these invasive snails. With the intense heat and the flower farm drying out very quickly I had been watering twice a day. Sort of sounds like the perfect "storm," looking back on the past few months of the growing season.

Brown Snail Resistant Plants


I grew celosia, basil and assorted peppers as companion plants this year and they truly flourished under the Mississippi sun. They soaked up the water and thrived through endless days of heat and humidity. 

Plants That Brown Snails Eat


I discovered the invasive brown garden snail late one afternoon as I went to the garden to fetch some fresh basil, hot peppers and bell peppers for our dinner.
I brought my bundle of goodies into the house and began rinsing them in the Kitchen sink...and the snails began tumbling off. 
You may be wondering how I did not see them before now, truthfully this sudden snail outbreak resulted in a gigantic community of baby snails.
The snails were holding on to the underside of the leaves!
Needless to say all of the produce was thrown away and the kitchen sink disinfected!


There are several steps involved in eradicating the brown garden snail and I have no earthly idea if they have the potential to return in the Spring. I suppose I will find out. These are the steps that I am currently embarking on to get these menacing and vile snails out of my garden. 

How To Get Rid Of Garden Snails

  • Clean all debris from garden-when leaves and petals fall to ground remove them.
  • Adjust watering schedule.
  • Plant snail-resistant plants. (unfortunately I discovered the hard way that snails love Basil)
  • Diatomaceous earth.
  • Snail and Slug Bait.
  • Coarse Substances such as egg shells, gravel, even coffee grounds.
I truly hope this information helps us all out! Invasive Brown Garden Snails are a very aggressive pest.


Related posts


  1. I am so sorry this happened to you. Can your county extension office offer any help?

    1. Thank you Miss Merry for the kind words. I did speak with them and unfortunately it seems the remedy is to remove all foliage and work on soil conditions.

  2. Ugh! I’m so sorry those pesky snails messed up your garden. Sounds like they have no useful purpose at all. :(

  3. Oh Jemma I am so sorry to hear about your snail issues. You worked so hard on your garden and this is heartbreaking. Hopefully for next season you can plant what they do not like and maybe use the stuff to keep them out. There is a women that just opened a fresh flower market by my home. She plants all kinds of flowers and you can visit her home and cut fresh bouquets to take home in a cute mason jar. She has girls nights out and date nights on her property. She sets up sweet tables and is a cater so she makes yummy box meals and then everyone gets to cut flowers to take home. So cute what she is doing. Just thought of you and how you are getting your flower garden going. Have a good weekend. xoxo Kris

    1. Hello Dear Kris,
      This is exactly the vision that I have for my wee flower farm. This sounds so inspiring for the community and for the flower grower too! Thank you!

  4. EEEEEEK. All I can say is that I am thankful that I live in a climate where most of these gross creatures do NOT want to live! LOL

    I remember the snails in California. I remember seeing the silvery trails - - - - on the concrete under the hot sun. I remember a few naughty boys in the neighborhood pouring salt on these things and when I was in France? Oh dear. They are as big as an apricot. I almost put my hand on one as I was using a rail to climb a steep set of stairs at the Gouffre de Padirac. Oh Jemma, it sounds like such a battle you will have to combat (but I think you'll win) in your new garden. There's always something, isn't there...

    1. Dearest Anita,
      There is always something! I do believe that there are certain regions of the USA that are more conducive to crop production and I know that California is one of them and Minnesota too. I may have to rethink where I farm.

  5. Oh no, Jemma! This sounds like a huge problem for someone like you who adores your flower garden. Have you found fellow gardeners there who have successfully gotten rid of them? I don't mind coexisting with caterpillars that turn into gorgeous butterflies--letting them strip all my flat leaf parsley--but snails don't inspire me to turn over basil to them.

    I do hope that following the advice you've found will help in a big way!

    1. Hello Dewena!
      This is a massive problem indeed....rethinking where my Farm should truly be....Thank you!


Post a Comment